A last minute decision to travel to Hong Kong, with my sister Sarah, brought on a frantic online search for our old exchange student called Angle who stayed with my family 6 years prior. If I could recall one thing about Angle, it was the many hours she took pleasure in chatting to her friends on MSN. Not surprisingly when Sarah finally worked out her old password, there Angle was, one of only three people online. The once crazed hype over MSN had clearly dwindled, moved to MySpace and Facebook and now more recently Twitter.
Unlike the Metro trains of Melbourne, Hong Kong trains run to schedule and everyone patiently waits in line to board. There system is seamless with no complaints. One minute the platform will be empty and the next another train has pulled up and all its passengers have swarmed to your side. There are mapped out lines with line conductors who control the passengers when boarding.
Despite the efficiency of the train system, they were extremely difficult to navigate as a foreigner. Thankfully for my sister and I we had our old exchange student who showed us the ropes of it all and took us to the hidden spots that only the locals knew for great food and shopping.
As well as lots and lots of shopping, Angle took us to many sites around Hong Kong Harbour. This included lunch on the bay at the Floating Restaurant where we indulged in the best dim sum in town and which overlooked the very exclusive Yacht Club. Sarah and I reminisced on our childhood when we spent the day at the theme park called Ocean Park. Another stop was the famous Stanley Markets and beach which is famous for the flocks of Western tourists who head there to indulge in cheap eats and bargaining for souvenirs. We took a day trip to Lantau Island where we took a half an hour cable car ride to visit the Giant Buddha which emerged out of the mountains.
Lan Kwai Fong is a favourite area of Hong Kong for locals and tourists. It is famous for bars and bustling nightlife and the cheap drinks are a plus!
Don’t forget it’s Winter in December otherwise you’ll freeze to death like I did at the famous Peak Summit or you can just use it as an excuse to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe at a quarter of the price you would pay in Melbourne!
If it wasn’t for social networking sites like MSN and Facebook I definitely would have lost contact with Angle who lived miles away from us as traditional forms of communication would have been difficult to achieve over a long period of time. For me, the main positive to come from developments in social media is our new ability to communicate. MSN and Facebook granted Sarah and I the ability to relocate Angle and ultimately made for a once in a life time trip to Hong Kong from a local’s perspective. Taking photographs gave me the chance to explore my creative side and capture memories to show my family back home.